“If you’re seeing bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy,” according to one of the many posters now plastered across London’s vast metro network.
In fact, two cryptocurrency exchanges chose to kick off advertising campaigns with Transport for London (TFL) on Monday.
Coinfloor, the U.K.’s longest-running exchange, launched a mix of large digital billboards and posters across London’s main tube stations. Meanwhile, Luno, the crypto exchange recently acquired by Digital Currency Group (also the owner of CoinDesk), combines its London Underground ads with 650 Greater London buses and a bunch of large roadside billboards.
While crypto prices are perched close to an all-time high of $20,000, the coronavirus pandemic has greatly reduced the cost of running advertising campaigns in the U.K.
“Prices for prime ad space are highly competitive,” said Obi Nwosu, founder and CEO of Coinfloor.
And with London in a lower tier of COVID-19 restrictions (although this may change soon) and Christmas around the corner, the trains are busy, Nwosu said.
“Footfall remains high at major stations, owing to the lockdown ending and Christmas run up,” he said. “Also, bitcoin is now finally being seen as a bona fide investment for the everyday person and so broader advertising starts making sense.”
James Lanigan, chief revenue officer at Luno, agreed that a combination of the winter holiday and the coronavirus has been favorable for bullish crypto advertising.
“At this time of year, the price of advertising around London would normally be almost out of reach,” Lanigan said. “But of course, everyone’s been really hit and so actually on TFL and on the global network there’s a lot of inventory out there. So there are great opportunities.”
Luno’s London push is part of a global campaign that includes national TV and radio in South Africa, the transport network across Lagos in Nigeria, print and radio in Malaysia and a mix of transport and radio in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.
Lanigan was buoyed by the fact Coinfloor was launching its London Underground campaign at the same time as Luno.
“If we can get lots of crypto companies advertising at the same time, that would be fantastic,” he said. “You got Luno shouting about [cryptocurrency], and Coinfloor shouting about it and if we had two or three others it would just naturally lift the whole industry.”